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Album Review: "Metal" by Canadian Thrash Metal Band Annihilator

Updated on July 29, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


How Is "Metal" Different From Other Annihilator Albums?

Metal is the 2007 studio album by veteran Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator and this studio effort features contributions from various vocalists and guitarists throughout the entertainment industry and the result is a pretty darn good album.

Vocalist Dave Padden Makes His Return to the Band Annihilator

For this album, vocalist Dave Padden makes his triumphant return after providing a solid performance three years earlier in 2004 on the album All for You. The more modern thrash metal sound is present in the album Metal and Army of One has a very interesting melody part after one of the solos.

"Army of One" Song Review

“Army of One” has an interesting guitar tone but better than 2002’s Waking the Fury. In life when an army really stands united for a cause they will fight to their death to protect, uphold and preserve the values that are most important to that country. The song also makes it clear that heavy metal is here to stay in the world and no amount of pressure can really drive that genre into the ground.

The Song Downright Dominate Is the First Excellent Song On "Metal"

Guitarist Alexi Laiho provides a guest appearance for the really heavy song "Downright Dominate." Canada is starting to become like Greece in the sense that their thrash metal scene is growing for the better. Downright Dominate has a terrific middle section riff as the song is about being at the top of the world. You are so strong that you can dominate others and no one can take you down. The first solo is fast and creative. But then again, this is Annihilator we are talking about and their creativity is among the best in terms of North American thrash bands. Providing the drum play is Mike Mangini who played for this band way back in the early 1990’s. Fans of the band will surely remember their solid mainstream album Set the World on Fire. I recently did an album review for another Canadian thrash metal band called Martial Law but their work is nowhere near as good as what we hear on the album Metal. Still, though as I said, Canada is a nation that is seeing a fast growth in the thrash metal genre. I would even argue that Annihilator is one of those bands that when they made their debut and have lasted all these years they gave others in Canada a chance to prove their skills.

"Clown Parade"

"Metal" Album Review & Analysis Continued

"Smothered" is a song that explains the reality that someone that gives everything and gets nothing in return. In life, we are told all kinds of things such as we are not good enough or smart enough for this or for that. “Operation Annihilation” stylistically is similar to the 4th song and in this song, Michael Amott provides a guest appearance. I hear a few notes that would have been heard in the song Set the World on Fire. One difference between previous Annihilator albums and “Metal” is that there is more harmony vocal use. By the time we get to the song called "Haunted," the speed and heaviness of this band are in full force. Annihilator has always had a tendency to use their speed to their advantage but that’s an attribute of theirs that has made sense. Dave Padden begins with a shout of “ow” as the song lyrically refers to a place where a person is locked up but for some reason, he sees demons. He wants to know why he is suffering and why he is in the place that he is in. There is a major tapping section as the bass can clearly be heard. That’s something we don’t hear from this band all the time. “Kicked” starts with a weird sound and some bass guitar work before becoming kind of atmospheric in a musical sort of way and then the song speeds up. The riffing is solid once again as usual. The guitar sound in this album is different than most other Annihilator albums but if you keep an open mind, Metal will be a very enjoyable listen. The song lyrically is about someone that lies, cheats, and steals to get their way. “Detonation” is a modern-day heavy song that has the riffing style of the song Children of the Grave. It does not sound like that song but the style is like that as lyrically it is about rebelling against your life when it feels like every day is the same for you as you sit and wonder where your life is going. “Metal” ends with a speedy finish as we are introduced to the fast and heavy fast song called Chasing the High. The song is about what can happen when someone is addicted to drugs. Some pf them will do anything to get that high but in the end, it can cost them their life. Overall, Metal is yet another solid release from Canada’s Annihilator and this is quite an experimental album. The best songs in this album are many including Clown Parade, Couple Suicide and Downright Dominate. As good as this album is, I find it hard to say that any album compares to Never, Neverland or Set the World on Fire.

"Downright Dominate"

Analysis of the Song "Clown Parade"

However, the two songs that we did not address are Clown Parade and Couple Suicide. "Clown Parade" is a song that describes what a thief or a con artist does. Every day of their lives these people live by wanting to lie, cheat, and steal to get an advantage. Over and over these kinds of people do the same dirty deeds. Any promises that they make cannot be trusted. The harmony vocals in this song are an interesting addition to the band’s musical works. The person that has been cheated on or lied to and taken advantage of wants to get even with payback. Sadly, here in Los Angeles, there are many people that are considered flaky and they cannot be relied upon. In a city that is dominated by the entertainment industry, there is always the potential for people to do whatever they can to get ahead even if that means that they have to take advantage of the others. Nonetheless, Clown Parade is a good way to start this 2007 album.

Final Thoughts About the Album "Metal"

The other song that we must analyze is the one called "Couple Suicide." The song is about a relationship that people know is not going to work out. The man says that he didn’t not try to make things work. They wonder what they are going to do since the relationship will not work out. What are they going to do? Angela Gossow formerly of Arch Enemy provides guest vocals on this song. Yes, the album Metal is kind of different from the other Annihilator albums in the sense that this is more of a collaborative effort but do not let that deprive you of the opportunity to listen to one of the best metal albums of 2007!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian


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